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God's chastisements. Now is the season for us to renew our vows of self-dedication and zeal in our Redeemer's cause.
The very appearance of nature seems to drive the mind back upon itself, to seek resources within for its own healthy existence. Vegetation appears to be at rest : but while in the natural world vegetable life appears to be almost extinct, the fact is not so. There are hidden agencies and elements at work beneath the soil which are now preparing in secret, and forwarding into a new existence all those floral charms which will adorn the summer, and supply the wants of all. And, in a moral view, this is a season when there are the greatest opportunities for the cultivation and improvement of the mind.
The representation of Time, by the ancients, with a bald scalp, except one single lock of hair in front, denoting that if we do not seize him by the forelock we must despair of retaining him, is a fit emblem and an admonition to us, that if the present time is not improved, lost opportunities can never be recalled.
“ We take no note of time
“ Where is to-morrow? In another world.
The heathen deity, with its two faces, looking two opposite ways, in the temple of Janus, at Rome, imaging the past and the future, thus directed its worshipers to reflect upon the wisdom or folly of their former lives, while it reminded them of their duty of preparing themselves for the changes into which the coming season might introduce them.
But the reflection of the past, or the hopes for the future, are but gloomy thoughts in the mind of a heathen. It was but a poor consolation to a great philosopher, when he had lost a beloved and an only daughter, that he intended to deify her. Having no source from which he could draw comfort, his imagination, based upon the idolatry of his times, vainly gave his child a place among heroes and divinities, the history of whose lives was often a scene of crimes and wickedness degrading to human nature.
In reviewing our labors for the past, we feel grateful and encouraged by the numerous acknowledgments we have received, of the utility and aid which many mothers have derived from the pages of our work; and we rejoice to know, that amid a host of other similar publications that have since entered upon the same field, ours still fully maintains the same high place in the estimation of the Christian community, and we pledge ourselves, during the coming year, to render it yet more useful, by enlisting others, whose names as writers for the family circle are widely known.
The too early desire to shake off the restraints of parental authority, the hasty accumulation of riches as the summum bonum of human felicity, and the great temptation to which our youth are exposed, by the issues of an unhallowed and corrupt press, are evils that call loudly that constant and strenuous efforts be made to instill into the minds of our children principles based upon God's truth, and, by an early training, thus to shield them against the siren strains of the deceiver, who, under the garb of friendship and false honor, is ever upon the alert to destroy the young and the inexperienced.
The longer we have been engaged in our efforts to aid the mother in the right discharge of her duties, the more have we been impressed with the sacredness and the responsibility of her high station and character, and of the essential need of her being able rightly to train her children. Neither the Church nor our country can be prosperous without such training, and no season is so well adapted as the present for the commencement of new and efficient plans, of improving what may have needed reform, and aiming at a new impulse, in the discharge of every duty connected with the maternal relation.
No subjects, perhaps, are of greater importance than to impress upon the minds of our children a love and veneration for the Divine oracles, the sacredness of parental authority, God's abhorrence of the violation of the Sabbath, and his hatred of all equivocal language. The truths enforced by the tender voice and th affectionate eye of the mother, find their way to the inward recesses of the heart, yet unsullied by outward acts of guilt, and
defend it from other destructive agencies that hereafter assail the frail children of men.
In furthering the means by which the usefulness of maternal influence might be extended, we would kindly and respectfully urge upon mothers the desirableness of forming maternal associations. Nothing is so effective as union-promoting a reciprocity of feeling, a social interchange of ideas, and resolutions, for the promotion of any object in which we are interested. Yea, the very meeting of hearts naturally warms, encourages, and stirs up to action ; and if “union is strength,” how important is the union of mothers, to give efficiency to their efforts and pur
prayers for grace and wisdom to guide her in the management of the young
immortal entrusted to her care. At sunset, Edgar came home from a visit to one of his companions. He found his mother in her chamber. He saw that she had been weeping. “Mother,” said he, “what makes you look so unhappy ?"
“I have heard something about my son which is not adapted to make me very happy.” “What is it?'' said he, in a tone of unaffected surprise. Can
you not tell ?" “No, mother." Think over
conduct." After a moment's silence, Edgar remarked, “I know that I have not been as good a boy as I ought; but I cannot think of anything very wrong that I have done : what is it, mother ? Please tell me."
“ You have been disobedient—you have not gone directly to school, but have stopped and played by the way. Oftentimes you have not reached the school-house till long after the proper hour.”
“Mother, I have not been disobedient; I never stop anywhere but at the store, and father lets me do that.”
Mr. Marsh often interfered with his wife's directions to her son, not from a desire to embarrass her, but from carelessness. He was absorbed in the cares of an extensive business, and when his son presented a request, he usually gave such an answer as would most speedily relieve him from interruption. Mrs. Marsh did not feel at liberty to set up her authority in opposition to that of her husband.
She had no reason to question the statement of her son, and of course could not censure him for acting in accordance with the permission of his father. After reflecting for a moment on the course she should pursue, she asked, “Did your father, when he gave you leave to stay at the store, know that it was schooltime?"
“Yes, ma'am ; for he once asked me if the bell had not rung, and I told him it had, but he did not say anything, but let me stay as long as I had a mind to."
Mrs. Marsh now saw that the case was not as bad as she had supposed it to be. Mr. M. had not given his son express permission to absent himself from the school-room; but he had allowed him to remain at the store, without reproof, even after he had been told by him that the school-hour had arrived. It was not strange, therefore, that Edgar should assume the fact that he had permission, and that his conscience should not convict him of disobedience to his parents. His father's authority had frequently neutralized the previous command of his mother, and she had concealed from her son the pain thereby occasioned.
“ I am quite sure,” said she, “your father did not intend to give you permission to be late at school.”
Well, mother, I thought he did, otherwise I would not have staid."
Mrs. M. deemed it unwise to say anything further on the subject. She was fearful of saying something which would have the appearance of censuring the habits of her husband.
When she had a convenient opportunity, she asked her husband, “ Is not Edgar in the habit of staying at the store when he ought to be at school ?"
“I don't know,” said Mr. Marsh, “he is there a good deal ; I should think likely he is there in school-time.”
" You do not wish to have it so ?”
“No, he ought to be at school. You had better tell him not to stop at the store.”
“I would prefer to have you do it, and to see that he does not waste his time there."
“I will try to think of it. Where is Edgar now ?" "He is gone to bed. Pray do not fail to think of it to-mor
It is a matter of great consequence to the education of our child."
The next day brought its business cares, and Mr. M. thought of speaking to his son in relation to the matter mentioned by his wife. If it had related to a note of hand, or to the sale of goods, it would not have been forgotten. After a few days, Mrs. M. said, “Have you thought to speak to Edgar about stopping at the store ?"